And For the Record

Marc (from Lothar Lorraine) said he believes me to be too much of a culture warrior, and I should step back from that a bit.

Here’s the thing though: I step back from that sort of thing a LOT. I have also written:

. Counting DLC’s, five video game reviews, plus a list of my top ten video games

. Around 8 or so posts on various Sherlock Holmes related news

. Off the top of my head two separate book reviews (“Till We Have Faces” by C.S. Lewis and “The Book Thief”)

. Two post about Firefly and a review of the movie Serenity

. A list of my top five superhero movies

. Two posts on the “How I Met Your Mother” finale and a very early post on “Friends”

. Two posts on dealing with my shyness and issues relating to it

. And, most recently, a post about baseball

Here’s the thing though: Nobody, or very few people, reads these posts. I write them mostly because I want to put my thoughts in concrete words, and if other people are interested I welcome the discussion. It’s hardly my fault that people are interested in the most ideological things I write.

In fact, Crude, as an example, engages in the “culture war” more than I do, and has recently been advocating more aggressive action from conservatives.

Now, what Marc probably meant is that he thinks I am too aggressive. But really, when people almost word for word call me an “asshole”, in person, for being pro-life, or tell people on a public online forum that I’m out of the closet as a Hitler admirer, or wildly misrepresent me then accuse me of not caring about raped or suicidal women, then yes, I’m not going to sit back and reply with a patient smile and a “let’s try and understand THEIR side of things”. To date I have issued one direct apology, and I meant it, but I still believe it is the only one I’ve ever truly owed.

To Marc directly: You feel disgust towards fundamentalists and new atheists. You realize that, to me, those who support abortion are supporting something I consider utterly despicable? Imagine that you’re talking to white supremacists, who are telling you that black people should be enslaved once again because they are meant to be underneath their white masters. Would you treat these people the same way you’d treat any other intellectual opponent who disagrees with you?

So yes, I can be harsh when I disagree with people, but I see absolutely no reason to be “nice” all the time. One thing I always try to do is present my opponent’s side of things equally – you’ll notice that in the Hitler exchange a couple of articles ago I not only posted the offending quote but also described the conversation that led up to it and even quoted it a couple of times.

So excuse me for not being nice to somebody who claims I’m an out of the closet Hitler admirer.

If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

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8 Responses to And For the Record

  1. Crude says:

    I don’t think you’re too much of a culture warrior, and frankly the people you’ve gotten aggressive with deserve it. Tildeb is a radicalized hatemonger for the Cult of Gnu, and Palazzo is… really, he’s just that combination of ‘Doesn’t know anything, is still supremely confident’ that is so damn common.

    I think the only thing important is to be civil and respectable with people who behave the same way, up to a limit. I mean with me, the limit was things like ‘fire people who you have seen support a ban on gay marriage’ – that was when I blew my lid, and Lothar’s (since rescinded) ‘It is child abuse (and therefore should be illegal) to teach a child about hell / raise them as an orthodox Christian, in essence.’ That’s getting into police state issues.

    The only thing I’d advise is to be selective in your outrage, and remember that anger and hostility is still communication – and you always want to keep in mind the audiences you’re communicating to. I actually advocate -more- outrage on the part of Christians, because I think we have harmed ourselves by striving to remain calm and cool-headed even when by all rights we should be furious. There’s still good and bad ways to be angry, justified and unjustified times, etc.

    • I co-sign all of this.

      I think the real reason Marc thinks I’m “too much of a culture warrior” is the whole exchange I had with Sheila. I have no regrets on that score, however.

  2. Andrew W says:

    Note too, the difference between “doesn’t read” and “doesn’t comment”. I read all your posts; I only comment when I have something different to say that I think will be interesting.

  3. IlĂ­on says:

    Marc (from Lothar Lorraine) said he believes me to be too much of a culture warrior, and I should step back from that a bit.

    But then, he would, wouldn’t he? I mean, seeing as he’s cheering for the other side, the anti-Christian side?

  4. Mr. Malcolm,
    I do not know who Marc and in fact I know no one of the posters/commentators, here or elsewhere for that matter. But I have been reading this blog in my spare time and I think it has become obvious (stats and all) that I do like how you say things and enjoy reading your posts. I have not noticed at all that you are a culture warrior in the sense Marc implied, but then again, we must be warriors in the sense that there *is* indeed a spiritual battle we are fighting? and in that sense you are doing it beautifully.

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